Honestly, what’s the matter with Minerva? Where has all her fieriness disappeared? Hell, she is acting like one big, obsessive aunt ever since some dunderhead chose to dump me here at St Mungo’s.
This is completely inappropriate. Totally uncharacteristic of the Minerva McGonagall I have always loved to hate.
Yes, I have lost all desire to live. Big deal.
As if anyone cares whether I live or die. The only two persons who might have cared were Lily Evans and Eileen Prince. They are gone.
Yes, I passed out that night. Big deal.
I am not a bloody Tobias Snape who needs to be taken to a therapist.
His chain of thoughts was broken by a vaguely familiar feminine voice.
“Good morning. How are you today, Professor Snape?”
He raised his head from the pillow and found himself face to face with a former student.
The Ravenclaw Patil.
Gem of a student (not a show-off like that exasperating know-it-all), and more importantly, the twin who did not develop stupid feelings for a man twice her age.
If only her inordinately fashion-and-gossip-centric Gryffindor twin were half as wise.
Wait, what did she say? ‘Professor Snape’?
He hated it when people used that selfish brute’s surname to address him.
I’ve had enough.
He finally broke his silence for the first time in four-and-a-half weeks.
“We are past that stage, Dr Padma Patil. Call me Severus, please.”
“OK. I’ll try, but call me Padma then.” She smiled. “Honestly, it’s difficult to address former teachers by their first names. It took me six full months to call Minerva by her name. She gave you tough competition for the post of the scariest teacher at Hogwarts!”
He smiled weakly. Age (in addition to many more factors) has mellowed him quite a bit, thought Padma.
“She is coming tomorrow with us.”
“Who, Minerva? Merlin! Where? And why?”
“We are taking you to the psychologist.”
“Padma, I am neither an alcoholic nor a psychopath. Allow me to state this for the first and the last time--I AM NOT GOING TO A THERAPIST.”
“Listen, Severus, going to a therapist will not fit you into either category. Think of a better excuse… Wait, that’s not allowed! Your first and last statement has been recorded and rejected.” Padma flashed her trademark post-exam triumphant smile.
Damn that. Padma Patil wasn’t a Ravenclaw for no reason.
“I see no reason why you and Minerva need to come with me. If my memory isn’t failing me as badly as you claim, there’s a thing called Apparating,” said Severus in the sarcastic tone usually reserved for the Gryffindors.
“Ah, Severus, nobody is saying anything about your memory. As for Apparating, you are too weak to Apparate yet. Besides, the psychologist’s clinic is in a Muggle area, and you certainly don’t want to send a dozen Muggles running helter-skelter!”
“But take me out of this irritating place first,” demanded Severus impatiently.
“We can’t do that. We needed to ensure that your medications were taken under our supervision. That phase is over though. No more medicines for you. But now we need to see to it that you complete your psychotherapy sessions before we can discharge you from here,” stated Padma in a matter-of-fact tone. With a patient as non-compliant as Severus Snape, you couldn't afford to take a chance.
“At least tell me the name of the bloody therapist!”
“Twenty-four hours to go, and you will find out for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.”
"Legilimens," muttered Severus softly as Padma proceeded to check his vitals. Barely twenty-three seconds later, he knew all he needed to know.
He smirked at what he saw.
So the Gryffindor Patil intends to heal my mind, the mind of a well-trained Legilimens and Occlumens? And that too when she hasn’t learnt the Dark Arts from Shinde yet, and continues to harbor that idiotic weakness towards me? Let us see how she manages to extract the slightest information from me. If someone knows how to stay tight-lipped, that’s me.
Padma, you and your sister are as hopeless in Occlumency as you used to be. Especially you. At least Parvati can tell when I am intruding her thoughts (that’s one of the side effects of being a Seer… Divination is one area where she scores over you and definitely over Sybill)… You can’t even understand that!
“Convey my regards to Shinde and Patil,” said Severus as Padma prepared to proceed to the next bed.
“Shinde? Narayani Shinde? You knew my mother?”
“Yes, met her after Patil returned from India after their wedding. Quite an interesting Dark Witch she was.”
This was a rude shock to Padma, but she managed to maintain a neutral expression while she nodded.
I must find out Aai’s secrets, decided Padma.